Disparities in dietary intake, meal patterning, and home food environments among young adult nonstudents and 2- and 4-year college students

Am J Public Health. 2009 Jul;99(7):1216-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.147454. Epub 2009 May 14.


We examined whether young adult meal patterning, dietary intake, and home food availability differed among nonstudents, 2-year college students, and 4-year college students (N = 1687; mean age = 20.5 years). Unadjusted analyses showed that few young adults consumed optimal diets and, compared with 4-year college students, nonstudents and 2-year students consumed fewer meals and poorer diets. After controlling for sociodemographics and living arrangements, we found that over half of the observed associations remained significant (P < .05). Nutrition interventions are needed for young adults, particularly specific at-risk groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Environment*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Nutritional Status
  • Social Class
  • Students
  • Young Adult